I’m guessing everyone will have an answer to this question, but what do you think makes a good book good?  After all, we have all started reading a book which we never finish, usually because we don’t particularly like the story, but what is it that makes us read a book right to its end?

As writers and authors we could all put a list together and, I’m pretty sure, we’d all have lists where many of the answers would match up.   Without a doubt answers such as the cover, the opening paragraph, the way it is written, and the genre would appear, but if I were to ask you to choose just one answer, what would it be?

Eighteen months ago I would have given you a completely different answer to that I am going to give you today, because eighteen months ago I was hardly writing anything apart from the occasional greetings card, shopping list, or message. Back then I would most definitely have given my answer as the genre of the book, because just about every book that was Science Fiction and included time-travel would, in my opinion, be good.  Then, just over twelve months ago, I began writing my own short stories and, over time, my answer has changed.

Simply by putting pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard, and writing short stories, I now find myself not considering some books good unless they have cliffhangers at the end of some of the chapters.  The cliffhanger spurs me to read on.  I’ll look at the clock and it may be well beyond midnight and I have an upcoming early appointment in the morning, but if I’ve just finished reading a chapter and there’s a cliffhanger involved, then I’ll read on.

I also like to come away from a book or short story where the author has given me the choice to decide for myself what may have really happened.  Some authors have a wonderful way of letting the reader decide for themselves and I have always been interested with the answers given back by the readers.  They are often very varied with maybe a few crossing paths.  As authors and writers we all have incredible imaginations and most of us will come up with some wonderful imaginative answers, but I wonder how many of us would come up with exactly the same answer?

Hugh Roberts

 

 

 

 

 

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